It's always been essential to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of rest to keep your body functioning at optimum levels. With COVID-19 still a potential threat, it's more important than ever that you eat a diet rich in immune-boosting foods. Here are some nutrient-dense foods that may assist your body in maintaining a healthy immune system.
1. Elderberry.This tiny, nutritious berry grows on a shrub-like tree called the Sambucus tree, also known as Sambucus nigra. The tree grows small clusters of white or cream-colored elderflowers, which produce tiny blue or black elderberries. These potent berries contain mega doses of vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C, while also providing folate, calcium, and iron. European herbalists and Native Americans have utilized elderberries for their potential health benefits for hundreds of years. Elderberry may assist the body in fighting off colds, flu, and respiratory infections. And while there are numerous claims about its immune-boosting properties, elderberry may interact with certain medications, so as with any supplement, check with your health care professional before taking it. Fresh, ripe elderberries can be tart, tangy or bitter, but there are many products on the market with elderberries, so check with your local store to find something palatable.
2. Button Mushrooms. Also known as Agaricus bisporus, button mushrooms are an edible mushroom native to grasslands in Europe and North America. This prevalent fungus changes colors as it matures, from white to brown, as it reaches full maturity. These flavorful fungi are high in potassium, magnesium, selenium, copper, phosphorus, and B vitamins like riboflavin and niacin. Baby white button mushrooms are one of the few sources of vitamin D that doesn't come from animal products. These vitamins and minerals are essential for the immune system to work correctly. It's recommended that you cook the mushrooms to release their nutritional benefits. Mushrooms are low in calories, too, so fill up on a healthy dose of button mushrooms, and you may boost your immune system.
3. Sweet Potatoes. The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant and is part of the bindweed or morning glory family called Convolvulaceae. It's a root vegetable that is a large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous root. The young leaves and shoots can also be eaten as greens. One medium sweet potato delivers 120% of the daily value of vitamin A and 30% of the daily recommendation of vitamin C, all for just 100 calories. These vitamins are vital for immune function and may be great for your skin. Sweet potatoes are a guilt-free cholesterol-free and fat-free food loaded with immune-boosting vitamins and fiber.
4. Broccoli. This edible plant from the cabbage family, whose large flowering head and stalk are eaten as a vegetable, is a nutrient-packed powerhouse. Known as an immune-boosting plant, one serving of broccoli may provide as much vitamin C as an orange. The vegetable is also high in beta-carotene, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. Broccoli is also packed with B vitamins. Together, these vitamins and minerals may help the immune system stay healthy. Another potentially beneficial compound offered up by broccoli is glutathione, considered the master antioxidant in the body. High in nutrition and low in calories, broccoli should be high on your list of foods to eat when looking to boost your immune system.
5. Watermelon. Watermelon is a plant species in the family Cucurbitaceae, a vine-like flowering plant initially domesticated in West Africa. Now a highly cultivated worldwide fruit, it currently exists in more than 1000 varieties. Watermelon is considered an immune-boosting fruit because it's packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system. It is loaded with vitamin A, C, and potassium, in addition to providing calcium, iron, glutathione, B6, and magnesium. A single serving of watermelon has 80 calories, so eat up, you might just get healthy!